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Modelling the socio-political feasibility of energy transition with system dynamics

Freeman, R; (2021) Modelling the socio-political feasibility of energy transition with system dynamics. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions , 40 pp. 486-500. 10.1016/j.eist.2021.10.005. Green open access

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Abstract

A system dynamics model of energy transition, TEMPEST, represents political and societal factors along with energy, emissions and mitigation measures, within a system of feedbacks. TEMPEST simulates energy transition from 1980 to 2080, calibrated to UK historical data. An exogenous uncertainty analysis showed most cases would achieve net zero before 2080, but only 20% would stay within the required carbon budget. Low probability, high impact cases have twice the future cumulative emissions than the best cases. High political capital for energy transition early on would likely reduce total mitigation required, but risks public pushback. Endogenous uncertainty about pushback and new measure difficulty could increase total emissions by a quarter. Dealing with unwanted feedbacks between society and government that reduce political capital will require responsive policy making. The socio-political feasibility of achieving the UK's net zero target is likely less than the techno-economic feasibility estimated through standard energy systems models.

Type: Article
Title: Modelling the socio-political feasibility of energy transition with system dynamics
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.eist.2021.10.005
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eist.2021.10.005
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Socio-technical transition, Energy systems modelling, Energy policy, Political capital, Social capital, System dynamics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10137347
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